Las Vegas Sun

April 22, 2019

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Value of Algiers land raises questions

Clark County appraisers say the fact that two separate appraisers came up with the same value for a piece of Las Vegas Strip property is rare and "casts dispersions" on the process.

Two separate appraisers representing Algiers hotel owner Larry Kifer said his 3.6 acres at Riviera Boulevard are worth $27 million -- three times the amount Clark County claims the land is worth, according to the Public Works Department.

Kifer since mid-summer has been pursuing a vacant 2.3-acre county parcel tucked beside the Aladdin hotel at the corner of Harmon and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Attorney Chris Kaempfer, who represents Kifer, proposed swapping the Algiers property for the Harmon land. Clark County commissioners delayed its auction of the Harmon property, which would have brought at least $21 million to county coffers.

But county assessors have vastly different values attached to Kifer's property, where the 40-year-old, 100-room Algiers sits.

Assessor Rob Helling said last summer that assessors divide the Strip into three sections of varying values. For example, the El Rancho property toward the north end sold for $49 per square foot. Strip land in the central portion has sold for as much as $300 per square foot.

Kifer's land is toward the north end; the Harmon piece is toward the center.

Public Works spokesman Bobby Shelton said county officials became suspicious of Kifer's claims because earlier this year when his property was taxed at a value of $8 million, Kifer claimed it was worth only $3 million. Kifer and the county compromised and valued the land at $5 million for tax purposes, Shelton said.

"Eight months later and all of a sudden it's worth $27 million?" Shelton said. "We're concerned the figures are so different."

Shelton said staff members plan to ask the commission Tuesday to allow them to again appraise the land.